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Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

Come join me on my journey!

Another Beautiful Sunset.

Jen and I took Ray’s golf cart out for this evening shoot. We enjoyed shooting in this new location. We both were looking for framed shots.

I am going to remember this location on the second hole of the Pete Dye Course.

Jen spotted the moon behind us.

Not the same color and intensity of the sky last night (that I missed!), but pretty.

It was dark-dark when we shot this house.

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Windmill Sunset Shooting Last Night.

Hummingbirds like feeding in today’s misting rain.

Quincy, Jen and I went down to the Windmill Farm by the San Gorgonio Pass last night. Here are some of the photos I shot.

Warming up to figuring out what to shoot, Quincy makes a good subject.

Quincy’s idea to shoot her own shadow helped me decide we needed a group shadow shot. Quincy, Linda and Jen.

With a little help from Topaz Adjust 5.

Shooting southeast.

Not an easy job trying to get two sets of hands to make it look like they are holding the sun.

Topaz Adjust 5 plug treatment on this photo.

Quincy.

Changing color.

Jen.

Set sun after glow.

Acknowledging Daybreak.

Click here to see Jen’s photo of me on her blog. You can tell in Jen’s photo of me, I’m not “feeling the pose” like Jen is in this shot!

A couple of things I noticed about myself while shooting this morning (and hopefully will change):
1. I worry how long the subject is standing for my shot and shoot quicker than I’d like to.
2. I didn’t like my composition in this shot at the time but again worried that we are supposed to be on a hike and didn’t take time to walk back and forth before or after shooting looking to see if there was a better framing location for better composition.

Jen inhaling and exhaling deep into her chest the energy of the sun on our hike this morning. We missed having Quincy on the hike….sleepy head:-)

What I’ve Been Up To.

I have made subtle references here on this blog, but have been a bit timid to share that I am enrolled in the New York Institute of Professional Photography Full Course. It’s a 1 year to 1 1/2 year course that you can take up to three years to finish. Right up my ally….on my time, not in-classroom time.

I have wanted to take this NYIP course for the last 3 years. I’ve been afraid to sign up because I have always had trouble learning (on the spot learning) like in a classroom environment. In order for me to remember and understand something I have to study on my own time, and physically and repetitively do whatever it is I’m trying to learn many times before any understanding comes. I’ve struggled with this problem my entire life but only learned other people learned things very differently than I do in the last twenty years or so.

I talked Jen into taking this course when she showed an interest in learning photography. She signed up. Jen teaches advanced students at a local private school and has NO trouble learning ANYTHING! Then I talked Stacy into signing up for the NYIP course after she started her adventure in learning to be a videographer and I realized she didn’t know how to “drive” her camera. (Forgive me Stacy:-) Now both my friends are taking this course I want to take but am too afraid to sign up for.

Finally I signed up too. This was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I love sharing my love of photography with the girls and we get triple the benefit of being in the school together since we get to learn not only from our own homework video critiques but each others’ critiques too. I haven’t been this happy, ever!

Phew. There it is out there for anyone to read. Linda is in school! Yikes.

There are 6 Units of Study (each Unit jammed packed with a number of audio CD’s, DVD’s, multiple Lesson books for each Unit, other phamplet books, and of course tests and Photo Assignments we shoot for, print out and mail in to the school for audio critique. This is a serious course!

Last night Jen and I shot photos in the Palm Springs area, for our Unit Two Photo Assignment. (I got a good critique on my Unit 1 photos:-)). According to the NYIP assignment, there are three shots we are supposed to hand in. We have recently discovered we are allowed to turn in up to 7 photos for critique!!!!!
Photograph #1 – Emphasize a subject by its size and off-center placement. We are to make a horizontal photograph where the subject is both very large and placed somewhat off to the side, following the “Rule of Thirds”. If the subject is looking or moving in a certain direction, leave more space in front of it than behind it.

Photograph #2 – Use framing to focus attention on your subject. Photograph an object, person, or scene, framing it with tree branches, an archway, a window, or other objects.

Photograph #3 – Using leading lines to draw attention to your subject, photograph a person or object using leading lines to guide the viewer’s eye to the subject. If the subject is relatively small, be sure it contrasts well with the background.

Our attention in this Unit is Exposure and Focus.
The school has 3 Guidelines which I am finally beginning to practice with some regularity:

1. What is the subject – the theme – I want this photograph to be about?
2. How can I focus attention on my subject and draw the viewer’s eye to it?
3. Have I simplified? Have I included only what draws attention to my subject, and have I eliminated everything that is non essential or distracting?

Thanks to my mentor and teacher for the last 5 years, Carol Leigh, I am well on my way to understanding the value of these 3 Guidelines. I would never have had the courage to sign up for this class without Carol’s professional and fun, instructive, talented and gentle ways of teaching.

So…..below are some photos from last night’s shooting in Palm Springs. I don’t know if I’ll use any of these photos for this Unit Two Class Assignment but I was happy with what I shot. I’ll add the Photo Assignment # (1, 2, or 3) to any I’m considering to print and send in to the school.

Assignment shot #2 framing.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.. This photo is soft (focus is not sharp) but I liked it anyway but won’t be turning it in since Focus is one of the criteria for this Unit.

Just liked this shot. Not an assignment photo.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement. Which do you like better for the assignment….this or the previous shot of Jen?

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

#3 – Using leading lines to draw attention to your subject.
Do you think I can use this photo where my subject is the clasped hands saying the purse strap leads up to the hands, the forarms lead down to the hands and the line of the shirt and/or bare back skin leads toward the hands? Am I stretching this a bit?????

Sent this little girl who let me photograph her the pics I shot. Shy but soooooo adorable and not afraid to show me the Marilyn Monroe stance.

It is unbelievable how many people come out to see the statue of Marilyn Monroe on loan to us for a year.

Morning Hike Shots.

Going out to shoot around 5:30pm…..maybe in downtown Palm Springs….where things aren’t quite so vanilla.

Both photos exported from Adboe Lightroom 4 to PhotoFXlab using Topaz Adjust 5 treatments.

What would a day be without my signature shadow shot.

Jennifer pretending to show me some shots on her LCD.

Playing with Topaz B&W Effects.

For Stacy.

Original photo.

And There Were Four.

So, getting people to pose…..meaning coming up with ideas and giving people direction….is NOT my long suit. I stand around asking for ideas. The person/people stand around going, “Uh, I don’t know…..”. We get no where. I get impatient. They react to my impatience. Finally, probably out of wanting my camera out of their face, they come up with something. I’m happy. I put the camera away. Then, they are not happy, but relieved. Help. I wish I knew how to visualize, conceptualize, ideas for posing.

Thanks Jen, for breaking the ice with your very out of character question.
Thanks Melissa, for getting down (even though you have sore knees) and creating lines with your poles.

Jeeze, finally it happened!

Happy Pants, Just Kidding and Reagan.

My Friend and Willing Model.

Jen in motion as I requested.

Before we swam some laps tonight, I picked up the Canon 5D Mark II fitted with a 200mm 2.8 lens and asked Jen to give me some motion shots to practice on. Thanks to my willing friend who is as interested in learning photography as I am.

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Why I Wake At 4:15am To Hike At 5:30am.

The older I am the more quiet time I need before I head out the door. Ray is the same way.

Cropped shot of Jen as we started out on this morning’s hike.

Hoping for better and better sun rays we stayed waiting quite a while. Took this photo into Color Efex Pro 4 and the preset Detail Extractor. The sun rays become more visual in this edited version.

Jen spotted these clouds above our trail as the sun broke the horizon.

Big Morning!

A Palm Springs hike near where Jen lives is where I lost 5 pounds in sweat this morning. Even at 5:45am it was hot and HUMID!

I think I need to look at more magazines or others work for posing ideas.

The Lyken Trail goes straight up.

After the hike, and since we were in downtown Palm Springs, we drove over to see and photograph the Marilyn Monroe statue. In October, a friend who dresses up as Marilyn, acts like Marilyn, sings like Marilyn, wants me to photograph her with the statue. My friend will be in full look a like Marilyn mode. Since I had not seen the Marilyn statue and wanted to see what I’d be dealing with when my friend arrives for her photo shoot, I took some shots.

Here is the overview shot.

A closer shot. All shots out of my camera this morning were taken with a Canon 5D Mark II, fitted with a Canon EF 50mm 1.2L USM lens.

Jen took me across the street to show me something special…….

This plaque describes how Jen’s Grandpa, John Porter Clark, designed this first permanent home of the Palm Springs Library, opened February, 1941.

Jen standing in front of her Grandpa’s building.

The front of the Library.

Once in downtown Palm Springs we both got excited with all the possible photo ops. We decided we’d come down here once a week and shoot. Today we found some special little spots:

Jen is not only learning her camera, compostion and exposures but ways to get out of comfort zone to pose as a model for me……..(without giggling!)

We love the blue stairs.

Not far from the corner and the Library we found the inside of a unique building. There were doves living inside.

Walking through the interior office structure and out the other side, we found these stairs on the sidewalk.